RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says it is laughable to hear people arguing about whether or not President Edgar Lungu is eligible to contest the 2021 election when the Constitutional Court has already determined his eligibility.
And Kabimba says his party has always been available to enter into an alliance with any political party that has the same ideologies as Rainbow, but will not accept to be used as a doormat to clean the shoes of those who want to enter State House.
Meanwhile, the former PF secretary general says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema should apologize to the people of Lukashya Constituency and the country at large for calling them Chikala when he addressed a political rally during the just ended by election there.
Speaking when he featured on the ‘Add Your Voice’ programme on United Voice Radio, Wednesday, Kabimba, who is also former Justice minister, said President Lungu was eligible to stand in the 2021 general election.
This is a complete departure from his earlier view in December, 2018, when he said it would be illegal for President Lungu to contest the 2021 elections because the Constitution explicitly disqualified him.
He had said the Constitutional Court misdirected itself in its ruling when interpreting Article 106 (3) of the amended Constitution which says a person who has twice held office as President is not eligible for election as president.
“If President Lungu does not qualify, ECZ will evaluate his papers and tell him that you don’t qualify as a candidate. This matter was taken to court and there is an argument out there that the Constitutional Court didn’t say that President Edgar Lungu is eligible [and that] it just defined the term of office. I laugh because that is academic. It’s the same thing. If they defined the term of office and the term of office as defined by Constitutional Court favours Edgar Lungu, it means he is eligible. So what is this academic of saying ‘no, there will be another case coming up because the Constitutional Court didn’t determine this issue,’ they interpreted what the term of office is under Articles 105 and 106 of the Constitution amendment Act N0.2 of 2016. So, for me, I am not worried about it. If the man is ineligible, ECZ will disqualify him. They will tell him ‘your papers are not valid’… and that will be a problem for PF to find another candidate,” Kabimba said, Wednesday, in what is clearly a change of position on President Lungu’s eligibility.
And when asked by a caller if he was ready to enter into an alliance, he said his party had always been available to enter into an alliance with any political party that had similar ideologies like his, but would not enter into pacts with those who would turn him into a doormat.
“I am not in love with any leader in this country. I am only in love with my wife. So, why do you want me to carry a placard saying ‘I love HH?’ Why do you want that to be my job? You are being unfair. You can call me names,” Kabimba said.
“You can call me a surrogate of PF, a surrogate of what, but I stand by my views. And if my views are not favorable to you, too bad. It will change my position because I think through what I say.”
And Kabimba advised Hichilema to apologize for insulting the people of Lukashya.
“If I were in my brother’s shoes (Hichilema) or if I were one of his advisors, I would simply advise him to say ‘please, apologize to the people of Lukashya and the country at large’ because an apology heals wounds,” he said.
Kabimba also condemned the PF’s early campaigns when other political parties were not allowed to do the same.
“I feel that PF is campaigning and yet preventing others from doing the same. I just read on Facebook that the UPND and the NDC wanted to have a rally in Lusaka and the police have said no to them for what they term as security reasons. I think that is unfair,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kabimba said those condemning the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) are those who fear to lose or participate in an election.
He wondered why people were still participating in elections if they had no trust in the electoral body.
“If we believe that ECZ is going to favor one political party, why do you want to participate in a by-election organized by ECZ? Why do you want to campaign and even appear on various forums and say that we have a good candidate, we have campaigned and we know we are winning this election and we are ready for the election?’ And then when you lose that election, then ECZ becomes a monster,” said Kabimba.